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READER MESSAGES Feb-Apr 2003

From: Gloria Goldman
E-mail:
Subject: Thank you...
Message:

View from Castlefield with Great Northern Railway Company's Goods WarehouseYour article The Magic of Manchester moved me more than I can say - One of my most intense and frequently appearing dreamscapes is the words GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY etched hugely on a distant wall, black with soot, seen from the windows of an ancient ballet studio at the top of a Deansgate building. Another is the #23 bus to Flixton looming out of the fog on Portland street, or the tiny, elderly, red-eyed attendant in the ladies cloakroom at Central Station, who always gave me a half crown (out of her enormous riches, no doubt) to send me on my way to school in London at the beginning of every term.

Your description of the excitement of riding the buses round Christmas streets with the magic of lit shop windows brought back such intense memories it was actually painful. These images (and yes, their accompanying musical soundtracks) seem to belong to another universe, irrelevant to anyone I currently associate with. Thank you for connecting me again. And your photographs are extremely beautiful.
With love
Gloria

PS, I forgot to mention the music
Message: "Shotgun"... Junior Walker and the All Stars - The Twisted Wheel
A song I can never quite remember by ( Little) Stevie Wonder performed at the Free Trade Hall circa 196?
"She's not there" ... The Zombies, (Heaven and Hell (on Portland Street- I think)
"Am I the same girl?" - Dusty Springfield - Ringway Airport, 6am, August 27th 1969
Symphony #5 (The Resurrection) - Gustav Mahler with a background of summer cricket games sound effects - eating strawberries in my father's garden (Flixton) 1960s

Thank you very much for your kind comments. I've had very little response from this piece so far - Pity because it explains the motivation for Eyewitness in Manchester and tells a story I've been waiting to tell for nearly 40 years! The letters you remember are on the side of the Great Northern Railway Goods Warehouse, which now houses an entertainment complex.


Fog Lane Park DidsburySubject: Nice One, Aidan!
From: Alec Adcock
I love your piece linking your Manchester memories with music. Music and smells being the two most evocative things which conjure up instant memories.

I used to play soccer at Fog Lane where the pitches always seemed to be muddy even after good weather, no doubt due to being next to the River Mersey.

Ah, the joys of travelling home on two buses covered in mud (no water or lights in the dressing room) and having to scrape the mud off my legs before I could get into the bath...(I lived in Greenheys then).

I worked in the CIS building in Miller Street for 20 years. You could then get some great pictures from the 25th floor, which was the "Observation Floor". Unfortunately, with expansion the floor is now used as offices.

I too love "Walk in the Night", evocative and atmospheric being the two adjectives which come to mind.

We now live only 20 miles or so from Dundalk, where your cousin lives, so perhaps you might look us up if you are ever visiting her. The Corrs, of course, come from Dundalk and I really like their music and the way they link Celtic influences to rock riffs.

Thanks for another absorbing article and the consistently excellent pictures.

Alec Adcock

Thank you very much for your comments. Smells as you say are another stimulus for memories. A web-linked virtual smell generator has already been invented, sowhat smells could evoke Manchester of past years? The sweet oily smell of steam engines, the smell of leather and wood inside the older buses - You can still experience this at the Museum of Transport on Boyle Street - the smell of the murky River Irwell now almost drinkable! Today's Manchester is short on ambient fragrances - not like the Middle East or Paris. Thanks for your message.


 

Subject: Music
From: Phil Blinkhorn
Hi Aidan,

Manchester Central Library archives and local studies unitCongratulations on a very entertaining article. Being a little older than you, the music of the late fifties and the sixties has somewhat different connotations.

You ask does any classical music have a Manchester feel. For me, Elgar's Nimrod will always conjure up a wet winter's Friday night looking out of the Technical Library in Central Library, across to the Midland Hotel, with the sound of the doorman's taxi whistle punctuating the traffic noise and the swish of the tyres on a wet Peter St.

Wherever I am in the world, every time I hear the first few notes I can smell the mix of the polish, books and damp coats as I, and many like me, rushed our homework before descending to the coffee bar to meet those of the feminine persuasion bedecked in the colours of the Hollies, Loreto and St Joseph's.

Why does Nimrod do this for me? I'm not really sure. I heard it played by the Halle in the Free Trade Hall both before and after the period (1963-1965) but the picture in my minds eye, whenever I hear it is of that view rather than one of the interior or exterior of the concert hall. The music has a certain power and majesty overlaid a feeling of darkness which perhaps summed up my feelings for the city at the time. In my will, Nimrod is one of the pieces of music to be played at my funeral.

River Deep, Mountain High. The first time I heard that was on a hill behind Peveril Castle, Castleton, one Sunday afternoon in the company of Bernard Henderson, Eamonn Munnelly, Frank Hopkins, Sue Gurney, Gill Lang, and many others from Xaverian, St Bede's, Mile End, Stockport Convent and other schools who used regularly to congregate at Lower Mosley St and Mersey Sq of a Sunday morning before proceeding by North Western bus to the Peak District for a day's hiking. Of course, being children of the sixties, a trannie to listen to Alan Freeman's Pick of the Pops was de rigueur.

Finally, another classic (though not a classical piece of music) for some reason has an East Manchester feeling for me. Many of the passages on side one of the original Tubular Bells are quite "industrial" and I've often thought they would form the perfect backing to a documentary on the industry of Gorton, Openshaw and Newton Heath in the 1950s. Many of the themes give the impression of machinery, the blast of a furnace and of rotary or repetitive tools and processes.

One final point, you say the airport sign at Parrs Wood is 35 years old. It isn't. The signs at Parrs Wood were erected prior to the opening of the new Terminal Building in October 1962. The aircraft silhouette is of a Viscount and the date of erection is late August/early September 1962, making it no less than 40 years old!

Best wishes,

Phil

Hmmm! Music that reminds you of smells, there's another angle! Nimrod by Edward Elgar - I studied that in A Level music at Xaverian. The inside of the Technical Library - I go there very often today, as I did when I was in the sixth form, and I think I also remember meeting girls from St Josephs and the Hollies (the sites of which are now housing developments) downstairs in the Coffee Bar, still a regular haunt. By the way, when I put up that picture six years ago it was 35 years old! The sign has now been removed from Parrs Wood, and I don't know where it is. There's still one of those old airport signs in Urmston, I think.


From: Gordon Simpson
Subject: Feature on Music in Manchester

Dear Aidan congratulations on another interesting feature on music in Manchester. In my early childhood I spent time with my parents in Market St and the song Downtown was in my mind then as it is now.

The Salford slums of 70s industry with its old factories and canals conjured up Ewan McColls Dirty Old Town. I also associate many others, these are merely two of many.

Gordon Simpson

Yes, Downtown is still a classic, just as powerful today as it was then. Ewan McColl's song is certainly suitable for Salford, though for me it has associations with Ireland. Music conjures up pictures in the mind's eye. It's a very presonal thing, but sometimes particular songs conjure up the same thing for different people, like Downtown and Market St.


Subject: Life in the sticks where Dundalk rhymes with walk
From: Alec Adcock

Going back to your article with its musical memories; In my teens and twenties I had a great pal named Johnny McCann with whom I played soccer, cricket, swam and played darts for a pub team. Johnny and I also used to sing together informally in pubs. We would get a bit of Dutch courage inside us and then launch into songs such as "Cathy's Clown" by the Everly Bros,"Let's Have a Party" and "Stuck on You" (Elvis) etc. This was 1960. Our haunts included the Transvaal pub which used to be on Clarendon Street, Hulme, I think, and the Shakespeare on Stretford Road. Funnily enough, we didn't receive any abuse for our a capella singing and in fact several times people would join in and at the end of the evening said "thanks for the music lads". Johnny had won a prize when he was younger for singing. I was just learning to play guitar in those days. I later in life wrote songs and sang on a demo in London and also played lead guitar in two bands.

In 1965 I moved from Greenheys to Prestwich and then lost touch with Johnny. For years I tried to get news of him and kept asking people but nobody could ever locate him for me.

After we moved to Ireland, I placed a message in "Where are They Now" in the Sun and was overjoyed when Johnny rang me here. Wonderful to hear his voice again and chat about the good old days. The downside was that he had lymph cancer.

Despite this, we made plans for him to come over here for a week or so but sadly, he never made it. Nine months after we renewed contact, and after we had visited him in Heald Green, whilst we were over staying with our daughter in Prestwich, he passed away at the age of 55.

I was so grateful for seeing him one last time but if only the circumstances had been different. I will always treasure the happy memories, the great fun we had together. A great lad.

The pub Johnny and I used to play darts for was on the corner of Pigott Street and Greenheys Lane and was called the Alexandra but everyone knew it as the "Roundhouse".

Very interesting! I've looked on the old map of Hulme and found Pigott Street - It is no longer there today. Thanks for your interesting reminiscences.


Subject: Whitworth Street School
From: John Hines Hi Aidan,
I would like to thank you for sending us the address of a school friend of my wife Iris. She contacted her in New Jersey and exchanged old tales of Whitworth Street High School for Girls. Her friend has sent photos of the old teachers and a School class photo.
Thanks again John Hines Kiama Australia.

Glad to hear that people continue to make contact with each other through these pages.


Subject: The Wash Houses
From: vivian j pollard
Hello Aidan
I am a Salford Lass living in Australia for 32 years.I am writing a book about my childhood in Higher Broughton: the shops, houses, people, street games, traditions etc. I remember my granny going to the "wash house" to do the washing & bringing it home in a pram. I think they could have been up Cheetham Hill I am not sure. Any information about them would help eg: where, what they were like. All I remember is her bringing home the washing & the gossip.

Thanking you in anticipation.
Vivian

Interesting - The wash houses pre-date the launderettes, which arrived I believe in the 1950's. Does anyone remember the 'wash houses' in Cheetham Hill or nearby?


former Shena Simon College, now part of MANCATSubject: EWM
Aidan,
Could you tell us more about Lady Shena Simon, for whom the college in central Manchester was named?
Thanks,
The Photojournalism Allstars\

Lady Shena Simon was a distinguished councillor and local personality who did a lot to help education in Manchester, particularly as a member of the Education Committee. Coming originally from the south of England, she said she had 'fallen in love' with the city on day she arrived. She worked in the 1920's to persuade Mcr to buy Wythenshawe estate. She was Lady Mayoress of Mcr in 1921-22 and elected to the city council as representative for Chorlton Ward. She was given the Freedom of the City in April 1964. Thanks to the friendly staff at the Central Library Archives and Local Studies Unit for helping me to find this information - It's in a book of cuttings which you can request from the desk.


Subject: Piccadilly
From:
Hello Aidan,
On your excellent website, you invited comments about the new-look Piccadilly.

Visualisation of Manchester City Council's Piccadilly redevelopmentI thought you might be interested in my opinion because I have just visited the city centre for the first time in about 15 years, and there is nothing like a long absence to bring things into the sharpest focus (I think I heard you say pretty much the same thing in your contribution to the Urbis "City Voices" display).

Like you, I was a teenager in the Seventies and spent much of my spare time in the city centre. I would hang around record stores and I used to tour the guitar shops with my best mate Ian - I didn't have a clue how to play them, but, as they say these days, it was "cool" being associated with someone who could pluck "Stairway to Heaven" on a Fender Stratocaster!

There were two places in particular that I loved to visit. One was a joke shop in (I think) Tib Street and the other was the old Central Station - it was being used as a car park, but you could still see the platforms, long-forgotten posters and other station relics. It was a magical place - you could almost smell the steam from long-departed engines.

Anyway, to get to the point, my memory of Piccadilly features orange and white buses circling the beautiful Piccadilly Gardens. I remember the familiar sights of Piccadilly Plaza, Lewis's and even good old Woolies opposite my old bus stop.

For me, Piccadilly was the base camp for my expeditions into the city. I would hop off the "125" bus from Glossop, grab a coffee in a now boarded-up cafe in the Plaza and venture forth. There was something reassuring about Piccadilly.

Today, it has the opposite effect. It is a soulless wasteland of concrete as alienating as it used to be welcoming. When I saw Piccadilly for the first time last weekend, the violence of the changes took my breath away. The new office development is a criminal invasion, the meaningless pavilion has ripped through the heart of the old gardens, the statues look lost in the bland expanse of grass and the fountains are a tacky addition, lacking in style.

And, even though I am a fan of the trams, the acres of track bed and the ugly platforms alongside the Plaza and at the beginning of Market Street complete a sorry, desolate picture (couldn't something be done to make them more visually appealing?).

I think the Piccadilly redevelopment serves as a demonstration of the worst excesses of planners. But I am staggered that no one, at any time during the planning process, was able to apply the brakes. As I think you say in your presentation at Urbis, the inability to consider the future seems to be a flaw in the Mancunian make-up.

Nevertheless, despite this (albeit major) blot on the landscape, I was delighted with the rest of my visit. Redevelopment elsewhere has produced some wonderful results - Albert Square, St Anne's Square and the Cathedral area are all splendid sights and Piccadilly Station is absolutely magnificent. It was great to see such a confident Manchester - a fine city asserting itself.

Unfortunately, the down down side of such assertiveness is that, when the planners get things wrong, failure can be spectacular. In my opinion, Piccadilly is the prime example and, sadly, there is no going back.

Anyway, I have rambled on long enough. Congratulations on a splendid website - keep up the good work.

Kind regards,
Keith Hursthouse
Stroud, Gloucestershire

I bought my first guitar in 1972 from my school mate Mark Linehan, who lived on Birchfields Road. It was a Hofner and cost £15. Mark judged people by the guitar they owned and once remarked 'He's a nice bloke him, he's got a Fender Strat'. I believe Mark is still active on the music scene in London. I have my own thoughts on the new Piccadilly, and the building which is nearing completion. I will reserve them for a feature I'll be doing to tie in with the opening of the building. Thanks very much for your kind comments, most appreciated!


Old police station B Division near AncoatsSubject: Ancoats
From: Ian Rigby

Aidan,
I have enjoyed browsing through the pages about old Manchester areas, very informative.

As a Police Officer, I started walking the beats in Ancoats, Clayton, Bradford and all the surrounding places in the early 1970's. I remember all the street parties for the Jubilee in 77 and the like!

I know to some, it is not so long ago but working from Mill Street police station, I still remember the folding garage doors on the building had 'M.C.A.B.' beautifully engraved on the glass. I am told it was for Manchester City Ambulance Brigade, which was manned by police officers up to the turn of the century?

My question is, does anyone remember the 'round house' it was situated on Every Street in Ancoats? I had the chance whilst policing the Commonwealth Games, to call to the site but the building has been demolished and a small round area has been left with a few badly weathered headstones.

Do you or anyone know the history of the building or persons who lived there? I could tell some stories about my time in the area but I tend to go on a bit!

Keep up the good work and fascinating column!

Ian Rigby

You'll find pictures of the Roundhouse in the Archives and Local Studies Unit at Manchester Central Library. I'm not sure exactly when it disappeared. Ancoats Hall is another Ancoats landmark which disappeared many years ago.


Subject: Pictures of Chorlton-cum-Hardy
From: Patricia O'Driscoll

Dear Aidan
I am a constant visitor to your site and having lived in Chorlton-cum-Hardy from 1962-1969, with only two visits since then, I would love to view some of the places I knew as a young girl. I look forward to viewing some pictures in the near future.. Thanks a million from Patricia O'Driscoll "Galtee View", Shanaknock, Anacarty, Co. Tipperary

I am planning a feature on Chorlton and will be visiting there soon, probably to go for a drink with my friend Kevin Smart, who's from Omagh Co Tyrone. Here's a photo of a road off Wilbraham Road - It's the only shot I got on a recent photo expedition to Chorlton before it clouded over! By the way, is everybody emigrating to Ireland these days?!


Subject: Deja Vu
From: Wyn Cummings
Hi Aidan,

Funnily enough, I had a conversation with one of my co-workers just yesterday about certain songs that we associate with persons, places and things. Quite a coincidence to read your EWM on that very subject. I actually cried as I recalled certain songs.

My Mother singing "Danny Boy" and "I'll take you home again, Kathleen" and teaching me "Bye Bye, Blackbird" It still brings me to tears. "When Johnny comes marching home" by the Andrew Sisters, that I associated with my oldest brother, John, a Royal Marine Commando, who was in Burma. I wrote him every day, writing with gravy browning. He told me years later that he was unable read any of them as the pages had stuck together. He passed away Sept. of 2002

"Peg O' My heart... "The girl that I marry" (We didn't, but were in touch until he passed away a few years ago) How are things in Glocamorra" My first love.

My Father, in his cups singing to my Mother "Are You lonesome tonight" and "Just a rose in a garden of weeds" Her reply "Get to bed, you drunken buggar. He was a happy drunk.

Frankie Vaughan "What's behind the Green Door" I found out....The green door to the delivery room at Crumpsall hospital.

"Rumors are flying" Anything sung by the Andrew Sisters and Bing Crosby brings memories of my oldest brother waiting up for me with a new record and rolling up the rug so that I could teach him the dance steps so that he could impress his fiancee at the company dances.

"The Last Waltz" sung by Engelbert and myself, husband and children as we were driving cross Country, only one song out of our vast repertoire.

I could name many more, but please forgive me. They invoked so many other memories that I will have to conclude this for now.

Best regards to you and your family.
Hi to everyone in Manchester. Pray for World peace.
Wyn Cummings, formerly MORRIS. Ashton New Rd, opposite the Don Cinema.....
now 7651 BOGAN Way .
Antelope. Sacramento. California 95843

Interesting to hear those song titles - Wouldn't it be nice if we could listen to them. I think most of these numbers are from a little before the era of S Club 7. Thanks very much for your thoughts!


River Irwell at KresalSubject: place meanings
From: gordon SIMPSON

Dear Aidan I was thinking how other areas got their names and thought I would let you and Eyewitness know a couple more . Firstly Salford gets its name from sallow ford as it was built on willows and sall is ancient English for willow and ford id a river hamlet. Rochdale means town in the valley of the river Roach. Prestwich means priests retreat probably it was a haven for fleeing priests at the time of religious persecution. Radcliffe means town on the red cliffs probably clay banks. Whitefield town on the white cotton fields. Oldham old hamlet ancient dwelling and Middleton town in the middle (Manchester and Rochdale) Dublin where you attended university is from Irish meaning black pool dubh meaning black and lihn meaning a pool possibly the Liffey. Hope this is of interest to the website . All the best from town on the woman's breast to you in the islands named after the husband of Mary 1 namely Philip of Spain \

Take care Gordon Simpson

Yes, I would love to have seen the 'breast-shaped hill' after which Manchester is named. The hill I believe would have been located near Castlefield, site of the Roman Fort, possibly overlooking the River Medlock. The breast has long since been covered over. And those islands? Yes, of course, the Philippines! Any places named after a king or queen? Victoria Park Manchester, where I live. Thanks for your message.


Subject: Finding relatives
From: Theresa Casey

I am very interested to find my relatives on my mom's side. The last time I placed an ad with "IN TOUCH" I did get an email from one of my cousins that I have not seen since I was nine yrs. old. It was hard to move away from England with my parents and siblings; however Canada is a beautiful country.. I hope to get back for a visit and try to track the places I use to live and go to school. It is hard to recall the name of the schools I did go to as the good old memory is not working with me.

My dad and mom ran a couple of pubs in the sixties. One was the Mechanic Arms, last name I recall since then. It was close to Piccadilly Gardens and across the road from a University. I believe it is on the same street as Woolworths....the one that I heard an explosion went off a few years ago. Could this be Oxford Road?

I would love to get some photo's of the old Hulme. I lived on 12 Marple Street before the homes were condemned. Those to me were the times I hold onto as a child's memory. It is hard to believe how well dressed my mom kept us considering the hardship, and area being such a mess from the war.

I miss my family over there. I hope to someday reunite with my cousins....the last name Degnan. I know he is in Cheadle Hulme, wherever that may be. I also enjoy your stories you get from the people that can go way back in time.

The one I really enjoyed was the elderly lady you spoke to about the past, especially pulling together how the area I grew up in for 9 yrs of my life and the areas my mother was (Longsight) and dad was from Sale. Is it not wonderful having this kind of technology to communicate around the world?! Thanks again. Theresa Casey (Brantford, Ontario Canada)

Yes, it certainly is and who could have imagined it just a few years ago. Not sure about the Mechanic Arms, can anyone help? You'll find pictures of Hulme by going to the website of the Manchester Central Library Archives and Local Studies Unit, one of my favourite places on the planet! Go to their website at www.manchester.gov.uk/arls/


Subject: Readers Letters
From: danny fewtrell

Aidan have enjoyed your photos for a long time but today for the first time read your readers wives page. (sorry; Readers Letters page!)
I was really touched by the emotions on view and can quite understand it having been an expat for over 20 years now. I am lucky that I get back fairly often but usually don't go into Mnachester by night.

I would love to see any scenes you may have captured on Wythenshawe and the changes to this somewhat infamous housing estate which is still so close to my heart.

Take care and thanks for all the memories you help bring back. Can I also draw your attention to the artist Hughie O'Donoghue, a world famous artist now resident in Dublin by Wythenshawe born and bred, and a lovely guy.

Leo in Dubai

Thanks for your message - Dubai, now there's a place I know well! Dublin too! But I still like Manchester best of all, despite the mess that's been made of parts of it...


The Piccadilly Wall  2002Subject: Piccadilly Gardens
From: Laura Kirker
I've been looking round your site and am very much impressed with your portrayal of Manchester. Being a student here, it's nice to see the history of the place in which I study. I'm now a second year and have seen the development of Piccadilly Gardens in their final stages. I have one question about it all - why on earth did they decide to build that stupid concrete pavilion thing?? I mean, it's so cold and unwelcoming. Many people coming into Manchester are now greeted either by the new office buildings hiding the gardens (it's such a shame that the council felt it had to sell this bit off to fund the redevelopment) or a stark concrete wall. What kind of way is that in welcome visitors? As a big fan of flowers, I'm sorry that there isn't room for them in this very contemporarily designed garden, though I do like it very much as a city centre park. It's just a shame about the wall and pavilion. What was the idea behind the pavilion in the designs? Retail units? The only thing I've seen there is the Commonwealth Games shop which was a temporary thing. A campaign for the removal of the wall would be nice - it really is just horrible. Bring back flowers I say!

Laura Kirker
2nd year music student
Manchester University

These are questions I ask myself too, but to find definitive answers you will have to ask Manchester City Council, originators of this project, and in particular, their Chief Executive Howard Bernstein, or Sir Howard Bernstein, one of the prime movers of the Piccadilly redevelopment. Thanks for your kind comments about my website.


Anti-war and Halabja placardsSubject: Piccadilly Protests
From:
Aidan,
Well done, my friend! You did a wonderful job of presenting the marches of both sides in the debate. I was very much against striking Iraq without the sanction of the UN. We are not alone in this world -- or this fight. For the first time in history, the United States fired the first shot in a war. It did not sit well with me.
Dallas
InspectorSkellum
Carpe Fervens Sequor
(Seize the Hot Trail)

Thanks again from the person with the best name of all my readers, Mr Dallas d'Angelo Gary, resident in Oregon. Your name makes reference to three places in America - Dallas Texas, Gary Indiana and of course Los Angeles. Thanks for your comments about the piece. As for names with a local connection, we have of course, the famous soul singer Melissa Manchester!


Subject: Photos of Manchester
From: Lynda Gowers
Hi there
It's a rainy day here in New Zealand and I'm browsing through the Manchester
website.\

Delighted to see the photo of Crumpsall Library. What a shame it is no longer in use - where is the library now? I remember getting a special
dispensation from my primary school headteacher to get a library ticket before the age of seven - unheard of in those days about 50 years ago! I
loved reading and was annoyed at the limit of number of books I could take out at any one time!
Interesting too, to see the photos of Arkwright House. My Mum worked there for English Sewing Cotton, as it was then called, and I used to go get a holiday job there when I was a student.

Keep putting up the good photos - it's interesting to see how Manchester is
evolving.

L Gowers

Thanks very much - the former Crumpsall Library is currently unoccupied, as far as I can tell What a shame for such a magnificent building to be in such a state 150 years after the opening first public library in the UK - in Manchester.


Subject: Meaning of Manchester
From: gordon SIMPSON

Dear Aidan, I often wondered where the name Manchester cane from. After a little research I discovered as is a well known Roman settlement. When the first Roman settlers arrived in this area, they built a city in the river valley which they felt resembled a female breast, the Latin for which is mamma. This when added to the Latin for settlement or city - caster - became Mammancaster: the town on the breast shaped hill.
Then with the demise of the Romans and the development of new style English this over the years became Manchester as we know today. There is still Latin in the logo of the city council Concilio et Labore means I advise and I work.

The symbol is a bee for hard work and industry. Also there is typified in the Manchester diocese coat of arms 3 gold bands representing the 3 rivers Irwell Irk and Medlock which since Roman times have passed via the city.
regards Gordon Simpson

Very interesting. Yes, I remember by Xaverian College friend Peter Scullion was also very interested in place name etymology, and use to enjoy drawing representations of the origin of the name 'Manchester' on the inside of his French vocabulary book! Yes, Scullion was from Stalybridge and had a great sense of humour. Another local place name I associate with him is 'Broadbottom', pronounced in his strong Stalybridge accent.


Manchester Airport 1971 taken by 13 year old AidanSubject: Ringway Airport

From: Harry Lee Mathews
I was wondering if any R.A.F. Parachutists remember training at Ringway Airport, also the Army Gliding Unit. I was in the RAF, and am a Mancunian, and love reading Manchester Online
Yours H.L.M.

You'll find references to the parachute regiment training during World War 2 in the book about the history of Manchester Airport First and Foremost


Subject: Eyewitness request
From: Chris Marley
Greetings from Florida !

I'm in pursuit of my great great grandfather John Worrall Walker 1808-1883 who owned the Sandy Well Brewery in Salford. Do you have any photos of this area in Salford? What is there now ?

Cheers,
Chris.

For photos of Salford, you can enquire at the Salford Local History Library, accessible via the City of Salford website www.salford.gov.uk Once this was a densely populated area of houses and factories, now it is under redevelopment - some industry is still there, the inner ring road passes through it. Like most of inner Manchester and Salford it has changed out of all recognition, even in the last 20 years or so. Thanks for your message.


Subject: My visit to Manchester
From: John Duffield
I was in Manchester on Thursday. It was bigger and busier than I remembered. There's an absolutely fantastic shot of maybe a dozen construction cranes from near the bridge outside Granada studios, and there must be another one from maybe the Maths Tower or that hall of residence about a half a mile south and a little west - there were a lot of new buildings visible looking north. Plus I walked up that new street where Harvey Nicks is, past the Shambles through to Urbis, very nice.

You do tend to dwell on the tired old run down places Aidan. Sure they exist and everything has its place, but please for me, more optimism and new stuff please. I like old stone best when it's reflected in mirrorglass. Give me skyscrapers!!!

Regards

I like the tired old run down places! They are often visually more interesting than the new ones. But I take your point, and over the summer I hope to do a feature 'Contemporary City' which will focus on the new Manchester. I will shortly be completing a feature on Salford Quays.


 

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